Tuesday, 5 July 2011

News of the World will never be sorry enough.

As I was saying to a friend of mine earlier today, I sometimes avoid talking about serious current affairs because I feel it alienates those who like to listen to me prattle on about music and adverts and food. Sometimes, however, certain things require real and uninterrupted attention.

Millie Dowler's phone hacked by NOTW - story here

The thing is, none of us are shocked. Not really, if you think about it. We know what Newscorp are capable of. Doesn't this scare you? That the company in charge of the majority of our news publications has acted in this heinous way, and none of us are truly surprised? Outraged, yes. Disgusted, certainly. But not one of us can say we are totally shocked to the core.

This is despicable. I thought I was already completely dissolutioned by the press (only a year after graduating as a Journalist, might I add, which is terribly sad in itself).

Something more needs to be done than mis-directed or careless Twitter rage - as useful and rally-calling as it is. Twitter will become the message board of the Lefties if we're not careful, and all credibility will be lost. People will forget what they have done, dismiss us as bawling hand-wringers and carry on buying the Sun and the NOTW for their bikini-clad cover stories and pretend none of this ever mattered.

There needs to be some action. Make like Merseyside and BOYCOTT. Tell all your friends. This cannot continue.


Simon Jenkin said...

Boycotting is such a stupid idea. I don't know anyone who buys the news of the world and I don't know anyone who knows anyone who buys the news of the world (full disclosure: I know a total of 3 people and they only know eachother).

I've boycotted the NOTW every minute of my life without even thining about it. Just as I boycott peas and hitting babies with red-hot curling irons (except for that one time but it was totally asking for it).

If you're talking about boycotting the whole of newscorp then I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment. Boycotting an entire organisation because of the actions of a few corrupt individuals in one tiny branch of what is a joshua tree sized company seems wrong. Newcorp is in many ways a horrible company but in many more ways is also a perfectly legitimate business with mostly legal practices.

Please don't get me wrong, I would love to see Rebekah Brooks chased naked down the street by wild dogs (everyone has their fetishes) and would find it terriffically entertaining if Murdoch's empire would collapse under the weight of his own inflated misguided capitalism but muddling issues like this and chucking around words like 'boycott' along with everyone els on Twitter is, at best, fuitless and, at worst, damaging to the situation.

I've written way too much. I might rewrite this as the first post of my still upcoming blog

Katie said...

I think you're being a bit facetious in saying that boycotting is a straight-up stupid idea. No, the people I know don't buy NotW or any of it's sister publications, but they do bang on about Sky Plus, and OH WAIT A MINUTE, HE OWNS THAT TOO WHAT A COINCIDENCE.

Please don't call me an idiot, either face to face or indirectly. Saying that News International is only partly corrupt is like saying Hitler wasn't all bad. OH I SAID HITLER WHAT'S THAT INTERNET ARGUMENT THING CALLED....Godwin;s Law, that's it. I went there.

Fruitless it may be, but damaging it is not. I don't see how it can be. And I'm trying to do something, and the only thing I know how to do is not buy things, and write stuff. Ask other people what they've done...it's probably moan on twitter or comment on other people's blogs (sorry, but you've pissed me off a bit, I thought we were on the same wavelength)

Simon Jenkin said...

First of all, I apologise for calling you an idiot. It is a word I use a lot and rarely mean. I certain;y don't actually think you're an idiot (please remember this if I ever do call you an idiot face to face, which I will try not to do but is a distinct possibility).

Wait, I've just re-read my comment and I didn't call you an idiot at all so I apologise for nothing. I did call you a "silly billy" on Twitter but that's a term of endearment more than anything.

I think we generally are on the same wavelength but this issue has spiralled so out of control (mostly on Twitter) that the left are becoming the ideologues, merely using this NOTW catastrophe to further debase Rupert Murdoch as if it was he who gave personal orders to hack into Milly Dowler's phone, probably while stroking a white cat in his hollowed-out volcano base somewhere deep in the himalayas, laughing maniacally and attempting to kill spies that are, for some silly reason, wearing a tuxedo while on a mission.

I, like many other people, find it very difficult to believe Rebekah Brooks had no idea of these shady goings-on. However, I find it even more difficult to believe Rupert Murdoch did have an idea of these shady goings-on. It's just plain impractical.

Speaking of impractical, we move on to the boycott itself. Now, contrary to the way I worded my previous post, I do in fact support a total boycott of NOTW. I just think the Twitter approach is futile. Your blog is a somewhat better idea but, just like the thousands of tweets on the subject, I strongly doubt any NOTW readers will read it and change their minds. Although I have just heard on the news that advertisers have pulled out of NOTW and I would say Twitter is at least partly to thank for that.

But, I do still believe a full boycott of Newscorp is somewhat silly. How far is that boycott supposed to go? Newscorp is a huge and varied company. Should people stop watching The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc? Stop watching It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Sons Of Anarchy, Archer, etc? Not see any film that 20th Century Fox releases? Stop using IGN.com? Not read anything published by Harper Collins?

There are of course reasons to boycott Sky (I already do) and there are reasons why the takeover by newscorp shouldn't go through. However, the illegal actions of certain individuals (individuals who, may I add, should definitely go to prison for the wrongs they have committed) shouldn't be used to tar and feather a very large conglomorate whose actions are, on the whole, entirely legal within the capitalist society we have chosen to live in (if you don't like it move to Cuba, hippy).

It all strikes me as nothing more than facile opportunism from the left, desperately trying to strike a blow against the Murdoch machine. Some may say that's valiant but it's not. It's sly and misleading. Please don't think I'm trying to defend the 'murdoch machine' because it is something that I am morally and politically opposed to but I associate the tactic with the right wing and if we on the left continue to use it we will become just as bad as 'them' and breed yet more apathy, as if the Lib Dems didn't manage enough of that on their own.

And your hitler comparison was a complete straw-man. Come on, Katie. You're better than that.

Also, I hope you understand that I do sincerely respect your opinions and your writing.

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